JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – On paper, the sport of curling and the city of Jacksonville seem like an odd mix. Curling is after all played on ice and Floridian’s aren’t too fond of cold weather. However, the USA National curling championships will begin this weekend at Veterans Memorial Arena.
John Shuster is the 2006 Olympic Games bronze medalist in curling. After giving local media members a tutorial on how to curl he explained how the National Championship landed in Jacksonville.
“Some people saw curling during the Olympics and contacted USA curling and said hey is there anything we can do down here,” said Shuster. “We’ve got an arena and some ice and that’s all we needed. We can make great ice anywhere.”
Shuster also explained that the sport is much simpler than it looks.
“It’s the perfect team sport. It’s on ice and you play with 16 rocks, there’s four members on each team. You’re essentially throwing your eight rocks and the opponents are throwing their eight rocks. Both teams are trying to score points based on the rocks they throw.”
The closest curling club to Jacksonville is located in Coral Springs, Florida. But if you make your way over to Veterans Memorial Arena this weekend there will be an area where fans can practice curling. The event kicks off on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.